24 hours. $500 million in sales.
According to publisher Activision, that's the tally from the launch of Black Ops 2, the latest installment in the storied – and extremely successful – Call of Duty franchise. In a press release, reps for Activision said "millions" of consumers had attended launch events in 16,000 cities worldwide, helping to drive up sales.
"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision, said in the statement. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time."
Obviously Mr. Kotick doesn't know for sure that Black Ops 2 will definitely be the most lucrative video game of 2012, but it's hard to think of another title that would rake in the same amount of cash. Some perspective: Microsoft's Halo 4, the other major blockbuster of the season, managed only about $220 million in its first day on shelves. Black Ops 2, in other words, more than doubled Halo 4's haul. Of course, Halo 4 is only available for the Xbox 360. Black Ops 2 released this week on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows. The Nintendo Wii U version comes out on Sunday.
Activision has released a new Call of Duty game every year for the past six years. There are two separate story arcs – the Modern Warfare arc and the Black Ops arc – and two different developers: Treyarch, which created the Black Ops games, and Infinity Ward, which did the Modern Warfare titles.
As opposed to the original Black Ops, Black Ops 2 is set partially in the future – there is plenty of next-generation weaponry and drone fighting to be had.
The game has received generally positive reviews.
"The team at Treyarch could have played it safe and Black Ops II would have sold well, but instead they challenged assumptions and pushed the series forward in awesome new directions," writes Anthony Gallegos of IGN. Gallegos went on to call Black Ops 2 "one of the best shooters of the decade."
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